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Two Israelis killed in Brussels shooting

Reuters

May 25, 2014 | 11:03 am

<em>People place flowers at the entrance of the Jewish Museum in central Brussels on May 25. Photo by Eric Vidal/Reuters</em>

People place flowers at the entrance of the Jewish Museum in central Brussels on May 25. Photo by Eric Vidal/Reuters

Two of the three people killed in a shooting at the Jewish Museum in central Brussels on Saturday were Israeli tourists, Israel's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry did not give further details on their identities on the victims killed in the shooting, which Belgian officials said may have been an anti-Semitic motivated attack.

Israeli media said the two were a man and a woman, tourists from Tel Aviv.

A spokeswoman for Brussels prosecutors office said there was no clear information about the perpetrator, although a fire brigade official said earlier that the shooter had driven up to the museum, gone inside and fired shots.

"Regarding the motive, we have little information. Everything is possible," Ine Van Wymersch told a news conference.

"We know that the location, the Jewish Museum in Brussels, makes one think of it being an anti-Semitic attack, but we do not have enough to confirm this is the case."

Belgium's interior minister, Joëlle Milquet, was quoted by the RTBF Belgian television station, saying: "It's a shooting ... at the Jewish Museum ... All of this can lead to suspicions of an act of anti-Semitism."

No details were given on the identity of the third person killed or on the fourth victim, who was wounded and in life-threatening condition. They had been shot in the face and neck, Van Wymersch said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement from his office, strongly condemned the killings. They were, he said, "the result of endless incitement against the Jews and their state."

Security around all Jewish institutions in the country has been raised to the highest level, and Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo met with police and senior officials to discuss the situation.

About half of Belgium's 42,000-strong Jewish community lives in Brussels.

Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Kim Coghill

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